Is Clay Matthews one of the best in the NFL? We think so. Raymond T. Rivard photograph

NFL’s Top 100 Players of 2011, Where Do the Packers fall?

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By Jimmy Riley

Lombardiave.com

 

 

NFL Network recently polled current NFL players asking them to rank the top 100 current players.  Well the results are finally in and seven Packers made their way onto the list.

At number 99 the Packers left tackle Chad Clifton was the first Packer to make an appearance.  Tough to argue that he should be higher when the next offensive lineman came in at number 87, and that was Carolina Panthers’ Jordan Gross. Chad Clifton just played his 11th season and made his second pro-bowl.  He was only called for holding once this last season, which is remarkable.

Nick Collins was the next Packer to crack the top 100 checking in at 96.  I felt Collins should have been higher on the list.  The Giants safety Antrel Rolle was ranked number 68 overall. Nick Collins had more interceptions and passes defended than Rolle and played an enormous role in the Packers winning Super Bowl XLV. He was also elected to his 3rd straight pro bowl.

B.J. Raji, aka “the freezer,” ended up ranked number 81. Raji had a breakout season in 2010 and came on to the national spotlight with his pick six in the NFC championship game. Tough to argue with his ranking, because only five defensive tackles made the list.  Bottom line with Raji is, he is only going to get better and each year they make a new list, he will be moving up.

Greg Jennings was ranked number 74 on the list, and I have a problem with that because they ranked 13 wide receivers ahead of him and I think we all know that Jennings is not the 14th best receiver in the NFL.  He is easily a top 10 receiver in the league right now. In the 2010 season he finished 4th in receiving yards and 2nd in receiving touchdowns.  If that doesn’t scream top 10, I don’t know what does.

The first of three Packers to crack the top 20 was linebacker Clay Matthews checking in at number 19. I have a big problem with Clay’s ranking. The runner-up for defensive player of the year was named first team all pro in 2010 finishing the season with an impressive 13.5 sacks. There is no way Dwight Freeney (number 15 on the list) is a better player right now than Clay Matthews.

Cornerback Charles Woodson is next at number 16. Don’t get me wrong, the 2009 defensive player of the year is still a great player at his age, but I feel he was ranked a tad high. His teammate Clay Matthews should have been ranked ahead of him, and I don’t feel that Woodson is better than Nnamdi Asomugha who checked in at 18. Enough of dogging him, Charles followed up his 2009 campaign with a solid 2010 season. Woodson has always been known as a physical corner and he lived up to that billing setting a career high with 92 tackles.

The 7th and final Packer to make list was quarterback Aaron Rodgers. Aaron ended up being ranked number 11 on the list. There were 3 quarterbacks ranked ahead of him and I don’t feel that’s right. This list ranked players right now, not by what they’ve done for a career. If you go by that standard I think that only 2010 league MVP Tom Brady would be ranked ahead of Rodgers. As good as Drew Brees is and how Peyton Manning is going to go down as one of the greatest ever, neither of them were better than Super Bowl XLV MVP Aaron Rodgers in the 2010 season.

I may be a little biased toward the Packers, but I feel if you look at the numbers I have a valid point for each of my arguments. Remember the list is ranking current players recent statistics, not what they’ve put together over their career. If you’re interested in seeing the whole list, http://top100.nfl.com/ click the link.

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